Home > Reviews > DEFINITELY MAYBE – Clint Mansell


February 15, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A pleasant-natured romantic comedy starring Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin and Rachel Weisz, and directed by Adam Brooks, Definitely Maybe tells the story of a political speech-writer (Reynolds) recounting the stories of how he met his ex-wife, and some of his other earlier romances, to his precocious and inquisitive daughter, Maya (Breslin).

It’s one of those nice, warm-hearted movies in which everyone has a happy ending, and in order to capture the contemporary flavor of the story, the director turned to composer Clint Mansell for the music – an unusual choice, considering Mansell’s background as a musical with the band Pop Will Eat Itself, but one which turns out well.

In writing his score, Mansell collaborated with former Lightning Seeds front man Ian Broudie, and together the pair delivered an upbeat, modern ‘band’ score, in which acoustic guitars, electric guitars, percussion and light strings are the order of the day. It’s not quite what one expects to hear in a film of this kind – there are no Alan Silvestri shimmering strings to be found in any great number – but it does root the score in its time period, and in actual fact may well appeal to those score fans who find Silvestri strings just a little too schmaltzy.

Many of the cues have a pleasant soft-rock element to them, notably tracks such as “April”, “Sunday Sunday” and “The Candidate”, while others embrace a romantic jazz groove with brushed snares and thrumming bass guitars, as in “An Evening at the Odeon” or “Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man”. Elsewhere, when the orchestra briefly takes more of a center stage, the score becomes more intimate and appealing; the piano solos in “Jane Eyre” and “Countdown” are quite lovely.

It’s undemanding, lightweight stuff, and a world away from the bold Barry brasses of Sahara or the experimental tones of The Fountain, both of which became considerable fan favorites, but Definitely Maybe at least adds another dimension to Clint Mansell’s career path, and will undoubtedly find an audience somewhere.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • Will Hayes for President! (2:56)
  • Here Comes Summer (2:26)
  • For Emily (Whoever She May Be) (3:40)
  • April (Come She Will) (2:41)
  • Jane Eyre (2:50)
  • Panic Stations (0:40)
  • An Evening at the Odeon (2:04)
  • Sunday, Sunday (0:38)
  • Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man (1:27)
  • It’s April (0:48)
  • Summer’s Over (1:20)
  • The Candidate (4:08)
  • Second Thoughts (1:07)
  • Maya Knows (0:53)
  • The Happy Ending Is You (2:41)
  • Brooklyn Bridge (0:56)
  • Countdown (1:09)
  • April’s Story (1:23)

Running Time: 33 minutes 47 seconds

Lakeshore Records LKS-339852 (2008)

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